Archive for September, 2009

UNEP Climate Change Science 2009 compendium

September 26, 2009

unep_compendium_2009

I just started reading this blockbuster, conveniently released to massage minds and folks before the Copenhagen meeting.
This is not a scientific opus. Let me give just one example: the caption of the figure 1.1. “The Greenhouse effect” says this: “Solar ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by the Earth’s surface, causing the Earth to warm and emitting infrared radiation…” So the visible part and near-infrared-part of the solar spectrum do not have any influence? Block UV radiation (above 290nm, as UVC is stopped anyway by the atmosphere) with a sheet of glass or plastic, and hoopla… the Earth will not warm anymore and not emit nasty infrareds that are swallowed by still nastier greenhouse gases!
Look also here for a discussion on a CO2/Temperature graph,  piecewise  spliced together and finishing conveniently at 2000 without being obliged to show the flat 21st century temperature curve.

BTW I wonder why this lavishly report has pictures and figures which seem to have been scanned by a neophyte and imported as very fuzzy illustrations.

(to be continued…)

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Albedo effects on radiative errors in temperature measurements

September 24, 2009

plaine_morte_huwald

Picture from the website of the EFLUM Lab. of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Dr. Hendrik Huwald graciously sent me  a copy of his latest paper (*) on the causes of errors in air temperature measurements. What he and his fellow researchers did was to take air temperature measurements using various classical shielded thermometers (as those commonly used in automatic weather stations) and compared these readings with those given by ultrasonic anemometers; these anemometers (see here the one used at meteoLCD) do not only measure wind speed and wind direction, but also air temperature, and these measurements are not affected by any radiative heating of the sensor or it’s shield. Most measurements have been made at an altitude of 2700m on the Glacier de la Plaine Morte, near Crans-Montana, Switzerland. The results given in the paper are staggering: over snow, high albedo gives readings that differ by more than 10°C (the classical shielded thermometer readings being always too high):

huwald_fig1

The lower 2 lines show the thermistor (black line) and sonic (dotted line) readings during one day; the upper black thick lines gives the difference between thermistor and sonic. This is quite a remarkable warming artifact!
This very interesting paper should be mandatory reading for those who foolishly still have a childish faith in extremely dubious measurements and data series, as for instance those of  the CRU that laid the foundation for the AGW craze.

(*) Water Resources Research,  Vol. 45, W08431, 25Aug2009.   doi:10.1029/2008WR007600,2009

BAMS: State of the Climate 2008

September 19, 2009

BAMS_state_of_climate_2008

The AMS (American Meteorological Society) has a supplement in it’s August 2009 (Vol.90, issue 8) online journal. This supplement by Peterson & Baringer is freely available as a big 64 MB PDF-file. This has to be loudly applauded, in a time where many papers are paywalled.
The supplement is well done, and contains liberal web-links to the original data sources. As usual, one may disagree with some chapters, findings or hypothesis. But it seems at a first glance, that “inconvenient” results are not silenced. For instance the chapter on SST correctly relates that the 2007/2008  SST was much cooler than during the 2002-2006; the corresponding figure showing the World Ocean heat content does not use dirty tricks to hide the practically unchanging SST from 2005 on. Interestingly the subpolar North Atlantic, Labrador and Irminger Seas are cooling down (which would explain the ongoing recovery of the Arctic sea ice extent). I really recommend to download this BAMS supplement.

The Merkel – Steinmeier TV “duell”

September 13, 2009

I just finished watching this important TV duell between the German chancelor Angela Merkel and the socialist party candidate (and current minister) Frank-Walter Steinmeier (elections will be in two weeks). Just to mention that there was in 90 minutes not a single mention of “climate”,  “climate change” or “global warming”; just a couple of months ago,  you could not find any political statement in Germany without these words. Is the tide on AGW really turning?
The most remarkable difference between the 2 candidates is that Steinmeier still wants to stop all nuclear power facilities, and that Merkel sees nuclear power as a solution bridging the time before renewables will be economic on their own.